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It is no accident that the pieces in this problem form the shape of the letter “R”. Letter problems have always been popular with composers, but it is far from easy to compose one where all of the pieces are essential for soundness, and even more difficult to introduce thematic content. Alain White’s four-mover, published shortly after his 17th birthday, succeeds admirably on both counts.
Solution: 1.Bg2 c5 2.Ba8 c4 3.Sb7 Ke4 4.Sc5, or 2...cxb4 3.Bc6 bxc3 4.Bxb5. The Indian theme, featuring a move across a critical square for the purpose of allowing an interference to relieve stalemate. In Memories of my Chessboard, White mentioned that a number of solvers who would normally have spotted the theme quickly were held up by the fanciful outline.
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